Nicolas de Oliveira
This studio will be delivered online.
The studio looks at space as practice, since each location is a mutable entity framed as a moment in time, populated by individuals and shaped by their actions as artists, musicians, curators, designers, architects, writers and spectators. Space can be a kind of frame or perhaps stage on which things take place. Space is the catalyst for having things happening.
Writing about these spaces filled with diverse practices in creative, critical and challenging ways is the focus of the dissertation, yet it ought not to be seen as a separate task, but as a way of intervening in the work and its creative process and reception. Writing, in this way does not stand apart from the work, but becomes an integral part of it.
In the 21st Century, everything seems to be less substantial, tangible – reduced or augmented to an atmosphere. In theatre, cinema and installation space largely ceases to be functional and tends towards illusion and special effect – dominated by immersive atmospheres. As technologies render virtual space an everyday occurrence it is imperative that we be able to understand the perceptual and conceptual shifts it brings about.
Studio 6 considers forms of writing as a means of interacting with the cultural and material world – through books, objects, exhibitions and buildings. Instead of focusing solely on the pragmatics of physical stuff, we seek out the atmospheres of place, site and space. Thus writing can be phenomenological since it chronicles the experience mediated through the senses: it stands alongside it, comments on it, it orders and choreographs. Writing about art and architecture, it is argued, has a strong curatorial remit since the writer intervenes in the presentation by interpreting and reshaping how we perceive and understand. Making exhibitions is then a form of both storytelling and critical engagement with artefacts; the way in which something is presented (visually, sonically or textually) is of great significance to how we perceive it – we can call the display an atmosphere, something that can be read, described and decoding with the aim of shaping our cultural environment.
- Introduction to the Dissertation Module + Formative Project (Box)
- The role of Atmospheres in Art and Architecture, Lecture Seminar
- Exhibition Visit (Thamesiology)
- Presentation of the Formative Project (Box)
- Curating Display Space: Lecture Seminar + Writing about Art and Space Task
- Presentation/Reading of Student Texts/Reviews
- Group Tutorials
Readings and resources
- Gernot Böhme, The Aesthetics of Atmospheres: Ambiances, Atmospheres and Sensory Experiences of Spaces, Routledge, 2018.
- Katrina Palmer, The Dark Object, Bookworks, London, 2013
- Boris Groys, Going Public, Sternberg Press, 2010
- Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, University of California Press, 2011
- Juhani Palasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, Wiley, 2012
- Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, Vintage Classics, 2001
- David Clarke, The Cinematic City, Routledge, 1997
- Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing: Managing Writing in a Digital Age, Columbia University Press, 2011
- Dorothea von Hantelmann, The Experiential Turn, 2014
- Nicolas de Oliveira and Nicola Oxley, The Door Ajar: Patrick Jolley, Gandon Press, 2011
- Alex Coles, The Transdisciplinary Studio, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2012
- Paul O’Neill,The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s), MIT Press, Camb.Mass., 2012
- David Balzer, Curationism: How Curating Took over the Artworld and Everything Else, Coach House Books, 2014
- Brian O’Doherty, Studio and Cube: On the Relationship between where Art is made and Art is displayed, Princeton Architectural Press, 2008
- Mousse Magazine, On Display, Issue #61, 2017
- Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely, MIT Press, 1994
Image: Hans Op de Beeck, Staging Silence (3), video still (detail), 2019
|Tutor||Nico de Oliveira|
Dissertation Studios 2021–22
Studio 01: Another Place
Out of a direct treatment of place, whether subjective or objective, emerges another place. It is neither new, nor fixed in time, but it has remained unexplored, scarcely documented – piles of lime and useless cicadas.
Studio 02: The Critical Thinker’s Guide to You: Making Sense of Writing in Creative Cultures
This studio focuses on the relationship between creative practice and criticism – and how theories and cultural and social networks help shape and define the creative process.
Studio 03: Fashioning the African Diaspora
Elli Michaela Young
Exploring the fashioning of the African diaspora and with a particular focus on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica, this studio aims to think through how fashion and dress is used to grapple with ideas of self.
Studio 04: Meaningful Work
This studio will consider the value of making in itself, independent of the product or outcome, exploring the idea of craft as meaningful work.
Studio 05: Thinking with Ruins
Thinking With Ruins begins with the idea that to think about ruination allows us to approach subjects that are of interest materially, aesthetically and politically and it allows us to work across scales - from dust to debris to object to landscape.
Studio 06: The Practice of Space – Writing Atmospheres in Art and Architecture
Nico de Oliveira
Dissertation Studio 06 looks at space as practice, since each location is a mutable entity framed as a moment in time, populated by individuals and shaped by their actions as artists, musicians, curators, designers, architects, writers and spectators.
Studio 07: Suck it up
This studio takes a sideways looks at the intersection of youth culture and late capitalism considering the impacts and influences of desire, the cartoon, consumerism and cuteness in shaping our lived contemporary experience.
Studio 08: The Conquest of Joy
This studio encourages dialogues around the cultural production at a time when narratives founded on certainty have ceased to make sense.
Studio 09: Paths of Desire
“Design needs to be plugged into human behaviour. Design dissolves in behaviour.” Naoto Fukasawa
Studio 10: The Hammer without a Master
Studio 10 explores the strange space between individual and collective, ecological action. It embraces the idea that we think, remember and decide ‘in the world’, rather than in our heads; that we are connected in unexpected ways; and that this connection may be a key to navigating life in an increasingly paradox present.
Studio 11: Sport and Aesthetics
Dissertation Studio 10 will examine the concept of aesthetics as applied within that most everyday activity: sport.
Studio 12: Curating Interiors: The Studio Becoming Museum
This studio explores key concepts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – from questions of knowledge, history and nationhood, through to authenticity, agency and value – by means of an exploration of the particular interiors worked in by artists, makers and other practitioners.
Studio 13: Visualising the Future
Cultural history, from high art to kitsch, is littered with visions of the future; some inspiring, some ridiculous, almost all of them wrong.
Studio 14: Technical Pitches: Outside is free
Outside is indeed free, but you need the skills, the kit, the knowledge and ideally ‘the look’ to fit into this world. This Studio will investigate how architecture, furniture, clothing and product design shape the work, living and leisure cultures they support. How these have influenced our relationship to our environment and indeed how this relates to resources at a local and geo-political level.
Studio 15: The Voice of Things
This studio will offer a challenge to the idea that objects are unruly things and need to be brought to heel by labelling, categorising, taxonomising. Instead, it offers an invitation to give voice to the mute and invisible, by listening to objects and treating them as allies.
Studio 16: “If I stay silent nothing will change”: Identity, Politics, Social Change and Creative Culture(s)
This cross-disciplinary studio considers how power, culture, politics, identity, representation, activism, social media, and mass culture theory intersect with a range of arts practices, including photography, architecture, design and fine art, film studies, fashion and music, sound, pop art, and theatre.
Studio 17: A History of Efficiency
There is nothing inevitable about the way we organise our societies, and we now recognise that transnational and historically embedded structures of economic efficiency are killing the habitable planet. This Studio explores the trade-off between efficiency and creative flourishing in structures of extraction, production, property, commerce and law; and asks where these efficiencies sit in our bodies, behaviours and feelings as both long-standing cultural legacies and contemporary harms.
Studio 18: A Material World
The Studio will consider how textiles in fashion, furnishing, art, and beyond are embedded in our cultural traditions and give us insight into ourselves and our society. We will ask about their relevance in terms of the environment, gender issues, wellbeing and consumption.